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Global Economy Continues to Recover

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    The economic recovery, which had started in Asia and then quickly spread to the U.S.A., recently lost momentum in both regions. In the second quarter of 2010, the U.S. economy recorded real GDP growth (in annualized terms) of a mere 1.7% quarter on quarter, following 3.7% in the first three months of 2010 and 5.0% in the final quarter of 2009. In Japan, quarterly real GDP dropped to 0.4% in the second quarter of 2010 from 1.2% in the first quarter. Meanwhile, the global economy continues to benefit most from the momentum of the Asian threshold countries. China, which has replaced Japan as the third largest economy (after the U.S.A. and the euro area), posted 10.3% growth in the second quarter of 2010, only slightly less than in the previous quarter. In light of its vibrant import performance, China’s current account surplus is likely to be lower in 2010 than it was in 2009. In contrast to global developments, the European economy saw a growth spurt in the second quarter of 2010 thanks to unexpectedly favorable developments in Germany, which compensated for problems in the southern and western periphery of the euro area. Growth was driven above all by international trade, with the low euro exchange rate recorded in spring supporting the pickup of exports. In the second quarter of 2010, real GDP in the euro area climbed by 1.0% on the previous quarter, i.e. more strongly than expected. All euro area countries, excluding Greece, posted an expansion, with Germany being the main driver (2.2%). According to the most recent forecasts, the euro area is expected to rebound more markedly than previously envisaged. At an unchanged 10.0%, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the euro area recorded in July 2010 continued to mark the highest value in twelve years. At 1.8%, the inflation rate remained moderate in September 2010. The latest forecasts do not point to any threats to price stability up until end-2011. The gradual economic recovery, which had become evident in the Central, Eastern and Southeastern European (CESEE) countries at end-2009, stabilized in the first six months of 2010, as the region, on balance, posted clearly positive quarter-on-quarter growth rates. Restocking and exports continued to buttress the economy, while consumption and investment did not foster growth in a sustainable manner. Despite a slight increase, inflation still remains at a relatively modest level. Financial markets have quieted for the time being after the turbulence of early summer 2010. In some countries, however, the situation remains highly uncertain. After an exceptionally powerful economic revival in Austria mid-2010, the OeNB expects continued robust economic activity in the second half of 2010 and a slowdown in line with world trade developments toward the end of the year. In 2010 as a whole, the Austrian economy is expected to grow by almost 2% on the back of animated export demand. Considering that the recession was very pronounced, the current upturn is fairly restrained, and domestic demand is still too weak for a self-sustained upswing.

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    Article provided by Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank) in its journal Monetary Policy & the Economy.

    Volume (Year): (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 6-24

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    Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbmp:y:2010:i:3:b:1
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